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Providence Land Services, LLC v. Jones

Court of Appeals of Texas
353 S.W.3d 538 (2011)


Facts

Graydon and Inez Howell owned a substantial amount of land near the lake in Lake Colorado City. In the 1970s, the Howells leased individual lots to people seeking lake property. For 25 lots, the lease agreements provided that the lease’s term ran from the date of the lease until “indefinite.” In 2008, the Howells’ interest in the properties was conveyed to Providence Land Services, LLC (Providence) (defendant). Providence asserted that the 25 existing leases with an indefinite term for the end date were tenancies at will and sent new lease agreements to those tenants (plaintiffs). The new lease agreements increased the rent and included a 30-day termination provision. In response, the plaintiffs sued Providence, seeking a determination that the existing leases were long-term leases. The plaintiffs presented evidence that: (1) the plaintiffs had made significant improvements on the leased premises and (2) the Howells had made verbal representations that the plaintiffs could stay as long as they wanted on the lots. The trial court ruled for the plaintiffs and determined that the leases were for 99 years. Providence appealed to the Court of Appeals of Texas.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (McCall, J.)

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